'Do You Have A Green Jacket?' Mickelson And Koepka Trade Verbal Blows

The two team captains had some fun at each other's expense in the build-up to the LIV Golf Team Championship

Phil Mickelson talks to the media before the 2022 LIV Golf Team Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson are captaining rival teams in LIV Golf’s Team Championship season finale at Trump National Doral in Florida. However, even though Koepka’s Smash GC has been kept apart from Mickelson’s Hy Flyers GC in the quarter-final, the two men still traded verbal blows in a pre-tournament press conference.

Eight teams seeded 5th to 12th play on the opening day, and Koepka was asked who he’d select as his opponent for the quarter-final, where captains play against each other in singles matches. Before Koepka could answer, Mickelson asked for clarification that he would be able to choose from any of the other seven captains. After being told that was the case, Mickelson said to Koepka: “So, if you wanted a rematch of the 21 PGA...”

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Mickelson, of course, claimed his sixth and most recent Major in last year’s PGA Championship, edging out Koepka by two shots, who had to settle for a tie for second. Koepka wasn’t about to let the dig go without a retort, though, and the 32-year-old responded by reminding Mickelson he’d never been World No.1, an honour Koepka enjoyed for 47 weeks from October 2018.

Lefty, of course, is hardly a shrinking violet, and responded to Koepka almost immediately. The 52-year-old said: “That’s a beautiful green shirt. Do you have a Green Jacket?” There was no coming back from that. Mickelson has claimed the Green Jacket three times for his Masters wins in 2004, 2006 and 2010, whereas the closest Koepka has been to winning at Augusta National was in a tie for second in the 2019 tournament.

The light-hearted sparring came on the same day Ian Poulter had a dig at Kevin Na’s perceived slow play as the build-up to the $50 million tournament intensifies. Smash GC is the fifth seed going into the tournament and faces 12th seed Niblicks GC in the quarter-final. Meanwhile, eighth seed Hy Flyers GC is up against Cameron Smith’s Punch GC, seeded 11th.

The four teams to progress from the quarter-finals will face one of the top seeds in Saturday’s semi-final, before the remaining four battle it out to try and claim the $16 million first prize on Sunday.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.